I have this little boy called Adam.
He is very sweet and very kind.
He is loving and giving,
And scared of many things.
Because life has shown him a harsher side than it shows to most 10 year old children.
He has had many surgeries.
He has known much pain.
He has cried with terror upon waking to find most of his body in plaster.
He has broken bones doing everyday things.
He has had terrifying episodes of sudden illness.
He has struggled to breathe.
He has been stared at and pointed at.
At a theme park, a group of children even snaked their way BACK through the queue to stare some more.
It took him many years to learn to speak.
It took almost 10 years to master sitting.
It took over 10 years to be able to move his legs.
He still can’t stand.
He may not ever.
He cannot walk.
He may not ever.
But I know that he will not give up.
I know that he wants to live the fullest life possible.
I know he wants more.
And it is my job to help him.
I will hold him through illness,
I will care for him during recovery from surgery,
I will be strong when therapies are hard to do.
And I will do all I can to help him through.
He has seen his wheelchair destroyed by an airline.
He has been left out of fun activities.
He has been unable to get upstairs in new buildings.
He has been unable to play in playgrounds.
He has been unable to use the toilet when out on far too many occasions.
He has been too scared to go to the cinema.
He has felt unwanted and unwelcome at so many places.
All because he cannot stand or walk.
I know that he can have a good life without walking.
But I want him to have the life he wants to have.
So I will do all I can to help him.
If there is any way in this world that he can stand, I will help get him strong.
If there is any way in this world that he might be able to walk, I will be with him every step along the way.
But it may never happen, no matter how much we wish for it.
I need another plan.
And that plan is to make the world better for him, and for all who need it to change.
All children need to play.
All children need to go out.
All children need rich experiences.
All children need to feel like they matter in a wider world.
Including disabled children.
All people need to be able to manage their toilet needs with dignity and safety.
But I cannot make that part happen by myself.
Making the world more accessible is going to be a big job but it can be tackled one stage at a time.
Step one, is making sure that Adam (and hundreds of thousands of others) can access days out, shopping trips, travel and entertainment just like everybody else.
And that means making sure that access to Changing Places toilet facilities, for those who cannot self transfer to the toilet, becomes protected in law. I am guessing that you are reading this and thinking, “surely disabled people are already protected by law in all areas of life?” but they are not.
That is simply wrong and needs to change, so please, sign THIS PETITION and help bring change.
Then share this so that more people might understand and care.
Who knows, maybe it will even reach our Members of Parliament or the Prime Minister?
And maybe they will care?